Can It Be Prevented?
A number of prevention efforts are focused at detecting suicide warning signs. Signals that a young person may be contemplating suicide imminently include: Thinking or talking about or threatening suicide; seeking a way to kill oneself; increased substance abuse; feelings of purposelessness, anxiety, being trapped, or hopeless; withdrawing from people and activities; and expressing unusual anger, recklessness, or mood changes.
Prevention efforts take many forms, such as general suicide awareness education, school and community gatekeeper programs, screening and peer support programs, crisis centers and hotlines, restriction of access to lethal means, counseling and clinical interventions, and postvention (intervention with friends/family/community after a suicide takes place). Adults who supervise a young person can help prevent suicide by knowing the risk factors and warning signs, asking a youth they are concerned about if he/she has been thinking about suicide, and if necessary, providing a referral and making sure the person gets appropriate help as soon as possible.